Meaning / Significance: Namaste / Namaskar


  • “Namaskar” and “Namaste” are often used interchangeably while some sources make a distinction between the words.
  • The word “Namaste” is frequently used as a greeting in India, and in other places among yogis.


There is a fair amount of consistency among sources regarding the overall message of the translations of Namaskar and Namaste. However, there is some difference in emphasis among sources as to the root words in each, and how similar and different the two words are from each other. A consistent translation utilizes the root word namah (na+ma), meaning “the intention to negate or reduce one’s ego in the presence of another.” See much more on etymology below.

  • The Namaste / Namaskar  greeting is commonly understood as, “I bow to you.”
  • The spiritual purpose of the Namaste greeting is said to honor the divinity (or “Light”) in those we meet, and to remind ourselves and others of the oneness and divinity of all life.
  • When done with presence and intention, greeting with Namaste can be a way of making ourselves into an offering, through an attitude of surrender and gratitude.

Acknowledgement of the Soul

The gesture Namaste represents the belief that there is a Divine spark within each of us that is located in the heart chakra. The gesture is an acknowledgment of the soul in one by the soul in another. – Aadil Palkhivala